Regarding the Dec. 8 article “In era of skyscrapers, group lobbies to keep Tokyo’s traditional buildings“: Sumiko Enbutsu should be considered a national living treasure! She understands that the soul of a nation is in its architectural heritage. To tear down a landmark historical building to make room for a cold glass-and-steel skyscraper is to tear away at the very heart of a nation’s culture. I still recall the ludicrous plan to construct a parking lot under the age-old Shinobazu Pond in the Ueno area of Tokyo some years ago.

Much of London and Tokyo were destroyed during World War II. Yet, while London did much to restore and preserve culturally important buildings damaged in Luftwaffe bombing raids, Tokyo took an entirely different approach after the war: It simply tore down many of the bomb-damaged buildings. What the U.S. bombing strategy failed to do during the war, Japan’s construction ministry set about doing after the war — in the name of “progress” and profit. Sadly, even the historical city of Kyoto has been ravaged.

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